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IS Calls For Global Attacks During Ramadan

Iraqi government forces flash the sign for victory while holding an Islamic State (IS) group flag in western Mosul on June 9.

An audio message purporting to come from the spokesman of the Islamic State extremist group has called on followers to launch attacks in the United States, Europe, Russia, Australia, Iraq, Syria, Iran, and the Philippines during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which began late last month.

The audio clip was distributed on June 12 on IS's channel on Telegram, an encrypted messaging application. It was attributed to the group's official spokesman, Abi al-Hassan al-Muhajer.

The authenticity of the recording could not be independently verified, but the voice was the same as a previous audio message purported to be from Mujaher.

Meanwhile, the United States has imposed financial sanctions on two suspected IS militants accused of manufacturing chemical weapons, the Treasury Department announced on June 12.

It was the first time the Treasury Department had imposed sanctions on an IS member accused of involvement in chemical weapons, the department said in a statement.

The sanctioned men included senior IS leader Attallah Salman Abd Kafi al-Jaburi, who is in charge of bomb-making facilities in the Iraqi province of Kirkuk, the statement said.

The State Department also listed Iraqi IS leader Marwan Ibrahim Hussayn Tah al-Azawi, who also is connected to the manufacture of chemical weapons, as a "specially designated global terrorist."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP